Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Berkeley UXO Discriminator (BUD) for XRO Detection and Discrimination


An optimally designed active electromagnetic system (AEM), Berkeley UXO Discriminator, BUD, has been developed for detection and characterization of UXO in the 20 mm to 150 mm size range. The system incorporates three orthogonal transmitters, and eight pairs of differenced receivers. The transmitter-receiver assembly together with the acquisition box, as well as the battery power and GPS receiver, is mounted on a small cart to assure system mobility. BUD not only detects the object itself but also quantitatively determines its size, shape, orientation, and metal content (ferrous or non-ferrous, mixed metals). Moreover, the principal polarizabilities and size of a metallic target can be determined from a single position of the BUD platform. The search for UXO is a two-step process. The object must first be detected and its location determined then the parameters of the object must be defined. A satisfactory classification scheme is one that determines the principal dipole polarizabilities of a target. While UXO objects have a single major polarizability (principal moment) coincident with the long axis of the object and two equal transverse polarizabilities, the scrap metal has all three principal moments entirely different. This description of the inherent polarizabilities of a target is a major advance in discriminating UXO from irregular scrap metal. Our results clearly show that BUD can resolve the intrinsic polarizabilities of a target and that there are very clear distinctions between symmetric intact UXO and irregular scrap metal. Target properties are determined by an inversion algorithm, which at any given time inverts the response to yield the location (x, y, z) of the target, its attitude and its principal polarizabilities (yielding an apparent aspect ratio). Signal-to-noise estimates (or measurements) are interpreted in this inversion to yield error estimates on the location, attitude and polarizabilities. This inversion at a succession of times provides the polarizabilities as a function of time, which can in turn yield the size, true aspect ratio and estimates of the conductivity and permeability of the target. The accuracy of these property estimates depends on the time window over which the polarizability measurements, and their accuracies, are known. Initial tests at a local site over a variety of test objects and inert UXOs showed excellent detection and characterization results within the predicted size-depth range. This research was funded by the U.S. Department of Defense under ESTCP Project # UX-0437.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View